30/06/2003

Modern Apprentice recognised at awards ceremony

Christopher Robinson, a Plumbing Engineering Modern Apprentice with Roy Finlay Plumbing in Fermanagh, has been named as one of Northern

Ireland's most promising young people at a special Awards ceremony in

Belfast's Waterfront Hall.

From Fivemiletown, Christopher was one of only six young people to be shortlisted for the 2003 Jobskills Modern Apprentice of the Year Awards, a prestigious province-wide competition run by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) in association with the Northern Ireland Training Councils Association (NITCA).

Christopher was nominated for the Award by his employer and Fermanagh College of Further and Higher Education and received a special commemorative plaque, presented to him by Jane Kennedy, Minister for Employment and Learning.

Strict criteria were applied to limit the number of entries from the thousands of modern apprentices currently participating in the scheme. The shortlisting and judging process took over a month to complete, culminating in workplace interviews with each of the six finalists who were invited to demonstrate some of their daily tasks and to outline the skills they had acquired during their training.

Congratulating Christopher on his success, the Minister said: "The Modern Apprentice of the Year Awards are all about recognising the value of these young apprentices who achieve tremendous personal success and also make a significant contribution to the success of their employers, their training sectors, and also to the wider economy.

"Sound education and training for our young people are the cornerstones of all our futures and the Modern Apprenticeship Programme is a very valuable means of increasing their knowledge and skills. Whatever sector they choose to train in, modern apprentices are being equipped with the skills they need to forge successful careers within an increasingly competitive and global labour market."

(CL)

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